The Mysterious 'Alien' Ascension at Sheerness Dockyard- Kent 1929
On a warm summer afternoon on Monday 12th August 1929, William King was sitting in the front seat of a motor coach at the bus terminus at Sheerness Docks in Kent. He was contemplating his long journey back to his home in Gloucester and was staring across the busy docks. As he watched the dock workers cycling along the quayside to the footbridge which crossed the railway bridge on their midday lunch break, something caught his eye.
Moored in the dock was an old twin funnelled steamboat with two masts. William King saw a figure appear on the deck from the left side of the nearest black funnel. It was a young man dressed in a brown coat and shorts, carrying a knapsack on his back. He was followed by a young woman in a light blue dress. He watched as both figures walked across the deck to the right side of the funnel and amazingly stepped off the boat into mid-air. William King watched in open-mouthed astonishment as the two figures first floated in space and then began to rise into the sky with no visible means of support. He watched them ‘climb into space’ for several minutes until they reached the cloud level when they disappeared.
Mr. King, a respectable, middle-aged businessman was shocked and bewildered at what he had seen. He looked around him but no-one else seemed to have been looking in that direction. Throughout his journey home that day he wracked his brains trying to think of a logical explanation for the incredible sight that he had seen, but he was stumped. At first he thought it may have been a reflection of something place taking elsewhere but there was nothing he could imagine which would convey such a reflection. It was as though the two figures were climbing an invisible hill but there was little elevation in this flat part of the North Kent coast. He couldn’t envisage anything taking place in the water which could have caused such a reflection either and the figures were in neither inverted nor distorted.
He was left with the unsatisfactory and unnerving conclusion that he had seen two people mysterious ascend into the heavens. So troubled was he by what he had seen, that the next day he wrote to his local newspaper and sought some rational explanation for what he had seen but none was forthcoming.
What was the strange event that William King saw on that summer’s afternoon in 1929? Was it a bizarre reflection or optical illusion? Was it a freak meteorological condition which created some sort of mirage? Or was it as some have suggested, aliens dressed as humans rising into space to join a craft above the cloud line, the knapsack being some kind of advanced teleportation device?
Ufologists point to the fact that dockyards and other major transportation hubs such as airports have often been the site of extra-terrestrial activity.
It is not widely known that Sheerness was in fact the site of the first official governmental UFO investigation, led by Winston Churchill when he was First Lord of the Admiralty, in the build up to the First World War. On 14th October 1912, strange airborne sounds and flashing lights had been witnessed in the sky over the Naval base at nearby Eastchurch, which was home to the Royal Navy Torpedo School and Naval Flying Station. This led to the British government accusing the Germans of using Zeppelins to spy on their sensitive military installations and a huge diplomatic row blew up. It was well-known that a Zeppelin had made a flight from Berlin into the North Sea at that time, but Count Zeppelin vehemently denied approaching the British coast, and most military historians tend to concur that this was not German military espionage.
Just four months later in February 1913, hundreds witnessed strange lights in the sky over the North Kent coast which were reported as a ‘phantom Zeppelin’. On this occasion military intelligence confirmed that there were no Zeppelins in the area and in the absence of any other explanation, the sightings were conveniently written-off as Venus being unusually prominent in the night sky.
So exactly what William King witnessed at Sheerness that August day in 1929 remains a mystery, but it had a profound impact on him for the rest of his life and has remained a source of curiosity ever since.